Catalog 2014–2015

B.A. in Physics Requirements

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Group 1. General Education Basic, Area, and Integrative Requirements

Students may choose to graduate under the General Education Basic, Area, and Integrative requirements and graduation requirements in force at the time they entered the UH System, when they entered UH Hilo, or when they graduate, provided there is no break in enrollment lasting longer than one semester.

Students should meet with their academic advisor to ensure that they enroll in courses that will enable them to meet these requirements as well as requirements for the major and for graduation. Some courses may meet both General Education requirements and major requirements.

The new GE basic, core, and integrative requirements and lists of certified courses are posted at

Group 2. Major Requirements (Please note any course pre-requisites)

  1. Required Courses in Physics
    • PHYS 170–170L General Physics I: Particles and Waves with Lab (5)
    • PHYS 171–171L General Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism with Lab (5)
    • PHYS 270 General Physics III: Introduction to Modern Physics (3)
    • PHYS 330 Electromagnetism (4)
    • PHYS 331 Optics (3)
    • PHYS 341 Thermodynamics (3)
    • PHYS 371 General Physics IV: Classical Mechanics (3)
    • PHYS 430 Quantum Mechanics (4)
    • PHYS 495A–495B Seminar (two semesters) (2)
    • An additional six semester hours from PHYS 300–499V (6)
  2. Required Courses in Mathematics
    • MATH 205 Calculus I (4)
    • MATH 206 Calculus II (4)
    • MATH 231 Calculus III (3)
    • MATH 232 Calculus IV (3)
    • MATH 300 Ordinary Differential Equations (3)
    • And one additional elective MATH course approved in writing by the Physics Department and totaling 3 semester hours (3)
  3. Required Natural Science Electives
    • Twelve semester hours selected from Natural Sciences as approved in writing by the Physics Department. (12) (see Note 3 below)

Total Minimum Semester Hours Required for the B.A. in Physics

120 Semester Hours


  1. Students must earn at least a 2.0 GPA in courses required for the major.
  2. At least 36 semester hours must be earned in courses at the 300–400-level.
  3. Students are encouraged strongly to meet with their advisors regarding Natural Science elective courses appropriate to their career aspirations.
  4. To earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics, students must fulfill the requirements for the major and meet all of the University’s other baccalaureate degree requirements. (Please see the Baccalaureate Degree Requirements in this Catalog.)
  5. Students should always check course prerequisites and the frequency with which courses are offered.
  6. To ensure progress toward degree completion, students are strongly encouraged to meet with an advisor each semester before registering.